Monday, August 15, 2011

The Summer Beer Dilemma. Can Tröegs deliver with Sunshine Pils?

It’s summer. This is when people drink lighter, crisper, more refreshing beers. Pilsner, kölsch, blonde ale, weissbier, witbier, lawnmower swill, and the like.

Typically at the beginning of the summer, I declare that I’m boycotting summer beers this time around. I rant that they too often taste like an uninspired weak beverage that probably costs less money to make… but brewers get away with it as long as “summer seasonal” is touted somewhere on the bottle. OK, that’s not fair, and not true for all summer seasonals. But, it still happens too often.

As summer nears its unofficial end, I start to wonder if I missed any great summer seasonals this year. And If I did, I only have another week or so to get my hands on them before fall seasonals flood store shelves.

Worried, I rushed to the store this weekend and created a couple of mixed six packs containing summer brews I hadn't tried yet or forgot about.  

One beer I picked up was the Sunshine Pils from Tröegs. I have good enough luck with Tröegs. In fact, I find their hoppy American amber, Nugget Nectar (released in the Spring), to be divine. Plus, Sunshine pils has a serious rep around beer geekdom. I’m almost certain I’ve had the Sunshine Pils before, but can’t recall for sure. So, let’s meet this beer again.

…..:sigh: OK I can’t sugar coat it. Two thumbs down. Let me say that I love a good pilsner and this one is supposed to be fairly good.

It sports a transparent straw color, and its white head dissipates to a faint film. No big deal there – fairly common for a pils.

The aroma is merely reminiscent (lightly) of pilsner malt, with faint esters of lemon and grass. 

It tastes snappy. Light grain gives way to fake corn-like flavors that conjur the likes of Becks and BMC (Bud, Miller, Coors) products. The core flavor profile is very short. I notice a little Saaz hops making an appearance near the end but that quickly gives way to some unwanted bitterness that backfires from the grass notes. It’s unfortunate because grass is typically favorable beer characteristic to me.

Appropriately crisp mouthfeel, though quite fizzy. 

The body? It’s light. Even for a pilsner.

In the end, the Tröegs Sunshine Pils is a let down. Off-putting bitterness, and a fake macro-like flavor ruins the party.

Grade: D

I do not recommend the Sunshine Pils. However, in my quest to always leave you with a recommendation, I will point you to a better pilsner. There are many. One example is Berkshire Brewing’s Czech Pils. It’s also a summer seasonal, but this one’s exemplary of a delicious pilsner; restrained, refreshing, yet full of flavor. Plus, it’s made locally here in Massachusetts. Find the last remaining bottles at your closest craft beer retailer as Berkshire Brewing only releases it July-August.

No comments:

Post a Comment